My Menopause Symptoms
‘When you don’t feel ready for your body to change’
I never imagined that hitting the menopause and my 50’s would or could cause me so much disruption to my life.
It seemed so unfair, as I still felt young, slim, not bad looking (well not a beauty, but attractive enough!), energetic and full of life.
I guess I should have looked to my dear departed mum who really did suffer with her menopause, and I should have realised it could be genetic and that I could mirror her disruptive symptoms.
What were these, you may wonder? Well, it varied (and note, I use the past tense – obviously for my mum as she has sadly gone, but for me too, as much of it is now under control, thanks to HRT). The symptoms differed from day to day and month to month, but overall they were mainly the following nighmares:
So much so that my confidence dwindled
This made me feel a little paranoid some of the time, so when I was feeling low, my anxiety let me believe that people did not like me and my family did not really want me around.
- Night Sweats
Total torrents of sweat with heat to overwhelm the most hardy of reptiles!
Washing and changing bedding every night – I even had to purchase a waterproof mattress cover as you would for a toddler wetting the bed!. Ghastly!
- Hot Flushes
During the day, my core temperature was no better. I would feel the sudden, split second eruption of heat in my body, like a furnace had been turned on to high. The heat would emanate out from my core to every part of my body – I remember that even my shins would sweat!. I could be standing talking to someone, and within seconds I would have drips of sweat falling off my fringe and down my face.
It would mean a desperate panic to strip off my outer layers of clothing, no matter where I was, like a panic stricken demon. I started to dress in layers to facilitate this process and be prepared for this sudden onslaught!.
The slightest thing would send me to a red mist vortex!
I would not see reason, just a temper like a really naughty spoilt toddler. Not attractive
Crying at the slightest thing – at work, at home – over anything at all, especially if I had a glass of wine too. I could frighten people with my outbursts!
I could not quite understand how low I felt most of the time. I thought that it was just the way my life was going – which was having difficulties I must admit. I did not put it down to anything else, so I berated myself for not being more positive as I usually was in life. I would get stuck in resentment and regrets and just found it too hard to move on with things.
- Terrible period pains and very heavy bleeding
It was like I was a teenager again, with everything out of control.
I could find that I would bleed many times a month – horrific!. Talk about adding insult to injury! The one bonus of the menopause in my mind was that this monthly inconvenience would be over, but for me, that was not the case.
Food, food, food - oh yes, and wine for my depression (which obviously did not help!)
- No Energy
I stopped going to the gym as I felt lethargic most of the time
I was tired and found work so hard
- Putting on Weight
I think that due to the above two, I started putting on weight, and gradually over a couple of years, I put on 50% of my previous body weight – over 4 stone (26 kilos). That is from a size 8/10 to a 14/16.
What I really have to mention is just how long it took me to realise that these things were part of the menopause and not related to all the other reasons I conjured up in my head.
I must admit that the hot sweats were a little bit of a give-away! I could not really relate these to any other issue or symptom, however, it still took me about 6 months to put 2 and 2 together and come up with the fact that was staring me in the face.
The next thing I didn't give much thought to was just how long it could take to get things under control.
My anger, anxiety, upset and depression were put down to a deep depression that my doctor wanted to treat with anti-depressants and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). As it was all hormone related, neither of these worked – of course!
This had the result in wasting time – a lot of it – perhaps another 10 months.
My bad periods were treated with scans, thinking I could have fibroids or other issues internally. This was not the cause, and no other issues found.
So, I struggled – night and day, personally and in work. I honestly wanted to die at some points. I could not see a way forward. I was upsetting people around me, and getting myself in to a state that I thought I would never recover from.
I had to do something....
Please stay tuned to more of the story soon.
If you want to discuss anything, please feel free to contact me.